What a mess! Tips on how to stay sane while baking with your kids
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I love baking. I find it almost therapeutic.
A bit of me-time in the kitchen to whip up a sweet treat for the family. Be it a pudding to end off a Sunday lunch or cupcakes for the little ones, it’s an activity that I rather enjoy.
However, it’s an activity that I prefer to do alone.
So when my 8-year-old enthusiastically asks to make chocolate biscuits, I would love to respond with an equally enthusiastic, yes, but in my mind, I’m already envisaging the mess and squabble that goes along with it.
If you’ve never baked with your kids before, you’re thinking I’m a bit of an ogre because you’ve most like seen those cute happy scenes in movies where the chirpy mom and her adorable kids whip up perfect cookies while laughing and smiling.
Well, that’s in the movies.
However, this is how things usually go down in my kitchen.
All the baking utensils are unpacked and used. Even one’s that were not needed for the process. There are ingredients everywhere. Flour and sugar manage to find it’s way to all corners of the kitchen floor. Not to mention the countertops.
It’s a constant squabble about me trying to help versus her not wanting help, but also needing help at the same time.
As soon as the treats are in the oven and in her mind the baking process is over, the messy dishes, floor and kitchen counter no longer exist and trying to convince an 8-year-old to clean it all is near impossible.
Having said all this, I continue to give in to her request because I too yearn for that happy movie moment and am convinced that the next time will be better... I’m still waiting...
For first-time moms who want to create that moment, and have way more patience than I do, here are a few tips on how to get through the process without major regret.
Expect and accept the mess
Things are going to get messy. There’s no avoiding that. The sooner you come to terms with it and accept that it’s part of the process, you’re good to go.
Allow them to choose the recipe
There’s no point in trying to convince your little ones to bake muesli biscuits when it’s chocolate chip cookies that they want.
Keep it simple
Make sure that the recipe that they’ve found is in fact easy enough for them to follow. If the one they’ve selected is too complicated, help them find an easier one.
Let them follow the recipe with you
Not only will this help them gain an understanding of how everything is put together and in what order, but it will also help them feel more in control of the process.
Little ones are not going to get it right the first time. I mean who long didn’t it take you to crack an egg without getting shells in the bowl. Remain calm and don’t forget to praise their little achievements.